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Arrow Review: The Dark Archer

by at . Comments

The holidays are often a time for reflections, realizations and, of course, resolutions.

Oliver set out to make things right with his family on "Year's End" by re-starting the annual Queen Christmas party that Moira and Thea stopped having five years earlier.

However, there was somebody out there who was not happy with The Hood and set out to make his holiday a little less merry.

Oliver's Christmas Party

However, let's face it, things were far from perfect before the guests even arrived for the party. The episode opened with one of Oliver's very first victim from the list, Adam Hunt. This time, Hunt faced a harsher fate than having $40 million taken from his bank account. The copycat archer killed Hunt with a couple of very fancy and intense arrows to the chest. Serrated teflon-coated titanium blades are more than just fancy, they're meant to make a statement. 

It's interesting that Laurel and Quentin both automatically knew that the person going around killing people wasn't the real vigilante. Even though Quentin obviously has the advantage of seeing the weapons, the way the victims were taken down, and other details only the police would be privy to, it was obvious that they both just had a sixth sense about this. As much as Quentin hates The Hood, he isn't too proud to reject his help and work with him. 

When Diggle and Oliver discussed the copycat, Diggle posed an interesting question.

Is this guy trying to frame you or call you out? | permalink

It was more like he was trying to lure Oliver out. Since we now know the copycat is the person who made the list, why would he be trying to kill people off of it? As Merlyn said to Moira, things were only getting worse and it was time to send in their "associate." Well... before I could ask who that associate was, Meryln was pulling off his mask.

For all the comic book fans, there was clear foreshadowing to this, but for the rest of us it was obviously slightly shocking. Just how much does Mr. Merlyn control? And how did he become some skilled with a bow and arrow? 

The dinner party scene was a little creepy the first time around, just because you know half the people at that table were criminals and had dark secrets. But once the episode finished and the Dark Archer was revealed, it was even more chilling to go back and watch. What do you think of Mr. Merlyn's coining of the term "Green Arrow" as The Hood's new nickname? Does he know that it's Oliver?

In the end, Oliver felt more defeated than ever despite having saved the five hostages. He has a new nemesis who - unbeknownst to him - is his best friend's father. Only time will tell when Oliver connects the Dark Archer with the list. Also time will tell us exactly how Oliver, pre-Arrow, was able to help his friend on the island. After all, wasn't that what he was alluding to when he told Diggle he'd faced much harder things on the island than in Starling City?

What did you all think of the mid-season finale of Arrow? Did it live up to your expectations? Where is Walter? Will you be tuning in in 2013?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (166 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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thought show was good. agree that felicity must have something else going on or will- my guess is she blabs to oliver about walter's questions. The archer is killing those who were already rendered useless by arrow. He is cleaning up those who can't help anymore. agree with size differential on archer v merlyn. I thought he was built like deathstroke, but when you saw eyes...

Dreamrose

And now Moira's code name should be "Black Widow". It's definitely not good luck to be married to this woman, is it?

Neejan

I got Spiderman chills (the Mr Merlyn being his best friend's dad thing)...And Batman chills (Alfred..) Love that Arrow is able to combine all the good elements from different productions. :D
Again, my only criticism is the role of Thea. I really love her, so she must play a more significant role in the story. Also I need to mention Felicity's role. Things go just too smoothly and seem too obvious. The address sign of the building where the arrows had been shipped too looked incredibly stupid and obvious. If the producers want to take the show to a higher level, they really need to work on these small details as well. Overall, I truly enjoyed this midseason finale (4 out of 5) and I am already wondering what will happen next.

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Okay, what I am going to say may sound somewhat mean, but I can't be the only one who thought it last night. The actor playing Merlyn and one dressed up as Dark Archer are no where near the same body type or physical characteristics. The height, weight and shape just don't match up. Dark Archer is in much better shape than Merlyn. That is not to say they aren't the same person, just that the show needs a stunt guy who is built more like the actor.
I would actually like a little more character development on Diggle. The actor does a great job, and he gets some pretty good lines, I would just like to see the character grow more.

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I was happy to see Oliver get his ass kicked, but I didnt think it was nothing server that he had to be in the hospital, I feel like the show needs more action & fighting & less drama, & sometimes it makes me cringe at how stiff Oliver is. To me the best parts have been the few scenes with got with DeathStroke on the island, & I was actually kind of hoping he was the special friend Mr Merlyn was talking about. I know next season they are bring Roy Harper in so I hope they don't nerf him & actually make him Oliver's sidekick "Speedy" or "Red Arrow". I hope they start calling him "Green Arrow" bc "The Hood" & "The Vigilante" just sounds dumb lol.

Sarah silva

Personally I do not think that the person Mr Merlyn was talking about was himself as Dark Arrow I still think it is someone else!

Sarah silva

I know Moira had Walter kidnapped in order to protect him but I want to know more and who the person is that Mr. Merlyn and Moira are answering too and why!

Sarah silva

The only small issue I have with this show is every time Thea is on for more than 2 seconds she has to be mean to Oliver then later she says she is sorry for being a beyotch! Yes I am sure it was bad for her and her mom but Oliver had it way worse, eventhough in the end he became the Oliver he is now BUT being on an island for 5 years is worse!
Felicity is not your average Tech person and for some odd reason I think she is evil...just this vibe I get from her!
Quentin telling Tommy he had a gun was super funny, he does not like Tommy and that is a typical over protective father thing to say! I like that Quentin help out "the hood" I think there will be more of that in the future.
Oliver was super funny when he was telling people he did not like the nickname they are giving the masked vigilante, that was one of the few bits of humor we got and I loved it!
I know Moira had Walter kidnapped in order to protect him but I want to know more and who the person is that Mr. Merlyn and Moira are answering too and why!

Sarah silva

This was a fantastic episode!
I am sure some viewers guessed that Mr. Merlyn was the dark archer earlier in the episode but I did not know it was him until I saw his eyes right before he took off the 'mask'. Looking back when Mr. Merlyn was super curious and asking the police chief why he had to leave the dinner party, I did think it was a little odd but did not think much of it.
I guess that there will be time that Oliver gets hurt and needs medical attention and so that is another reason that it is great that he has Diggle. I love the scenes when he and Diggle are training HELLO HOTNESS!
The look on both Oliver and Diggles faces when the kid walked into the house looking for Thea was priceless! The only small issue I have with this show is every time Thea is on for more than 2 seconds she has to be mean to Oliver then later she says she is sorry for being a beyotch! Yes I am sure it was bad for her and her mom but Oliver had it way worse, eventhough in the end he became the Oliver he is now BUT being on an island for 5 years is worse!
Felicity is not your average Tech person and for some odd reason I think she is evil...just this vibe I get from her!
Quentin telling Tommy he had a gun was super funny, he does not like Tommy and that is a typical over protective father thing to say! I like that Quentin help out "the hood" I think there will be more of that in the future.
Oliver was super funny when he was telling people he did not like the nickname they are giving the masked vigilante, that was one of the few bits of humor we got and I loved it!
I know Moira had Walter kidnapped in order to protect him but I want to know more and who the person is that Mr. Merlyn and Moira are answering too and why!

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When Oliver called Diggle for help after he was injured all I could think of was "Alfred....Alfred".

Arrow Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

I think there should be a national holiday for whoever invented French fries. Or at least a statue in their honor.

Thea

So is this guy trying to frame you or call you out?

Diggle